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 Property Management
About Onsite Managers
By Kari Negri, Founder and CEO, SKY Properties
(Editor’s Note: The “Ask Kari” now features a new monthly, “Question and Answer” format by Kari Negri, the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of SKY Properties. Ms. Negri has more than two decades of property management experience, is a featured speaker at many real estate industry trade shows and expositions, and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles. Ms. Negri would like to answer your questions in future articles and asks that you submit your Qquestions to: Kari@SKYprop.LA. Also, you can watch the SKY Properties online video series at
uestion: “Hi Kari, I heard a building am certainly not an attorney and cannot offer owner can be sued for not keeping legal advice, I am aware of owners being sued or proper timesheets for their on-site turned into the labor board for not keeping proper building managers? How can I avoid timesheets of people performing work at their legal exposure?” building. This tension is not unique to the real
First and foremost, before I can even begin to address your question, you must have a valid, signed contract in place with any onsite manager. You can a form onsite manager contract through the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles (or you can pay for an attorney to draft one for you). Having a valid contract in place between you and your onsite manager is not an option - it is mandatory for all onsite employees to have a contract even if you call them a “key holder,” “cleaner,” “security” or even worse, any “friend” or just plain old “tenant.” Even if the building is small and does not require an onsite manager or employee, if you have a person at your building that is designated as such who is performing services in exchange for rent concessions, then there must absolutely be a contract that outlines his or her duties and responsibilities and the days and hours they are expected to work.
You have asked a great question, and although I
estate industry. Have you ever heard those radio commercials where companies want to audit a person’s hours worked for free so they can offer to sue employers!!! It would seem obvious that litigation attorneys are hunting for employees who want to sue employers for potential back pay. My company, SKY Properties in fact, learned this lesson the hard way when a maintenance worker who had misrepresented the time worked on his timesheets. (These “ambulance chasing” attorneys apparently do not seem to be very picky about who their clients are.) Additionally, once an employee claims that an employer owes backpay, the burden of proof that their information is fraudulent or incorrect falls on you, the employer. So, be sure you are keeping accurate records and that you are updating them regularly and timely.
Following many years in the property management business, I have unfortunately witnessed many devious onsite managers who claim they worked
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